Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a kid, of course, the allure was a plethora of free candy, but even as I’ve aged and stopped eating sugar completely, there’s still something about this day that appeals to me more than most. When people dress up in costume, they often drop their normal facades and become more themselves, so you get a glimpse of their real personalities. Also, the costumes often generate an energy that’s much more relaxed and lighthearted than the majority of the year.
Those of us who’ve worked the con circuit have experienced these phenomenons throughout the year. Con-goers, especially the costumers, create a Halloween atmosphere for the entire weekend. It’s invigorating to spend the weekend around people who are being their true selves, and often, despite working long hours the entire weekend, I return from a convention feeling recharged and refreshed by all the energy and festivity. Halloween is much the same. The times when I’ve worked in an environment where costumes were encouraged, that particular workday was the best of the year.
One of my favorite Halloween memories came when I was working at the resort. If memory serves, it fell on a Saturday, and nearly everyone who worked there dressed up. Some of us dressed as co-workers, some as movie characters, some as silly inside jokes, and the energy on the sales floor that day was indescribable. We set a sales record that stood for nearly a year and had a great deal of fun in the process. That day taught me a lot about the importance of positive energy and excitement in the workplace. A little fun goes a long way for boosting productivity.
My absolute favorite Halloween memory was the last year I got to take Collin and Finn trick or treating. Collin was a pirate, I think the one from “The Wiggles,” and Finn was a kangaroo, I believe. I dressed as Darth Vader and held Collin’s hand as he went door-to-door and said in his tender three year old voice, “Trick or treat. Thank you.” It was magical, one of those moments with your kids that sustains you through the long, hard days at work. As I age and lose my faculties, I hope that memory stays with me until the end.
Happy Halloween, everyone. Have a safe and fun time, and for those of you with young children, soak up the time and hold onto it.